A new study by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has found that vitamin D can help the body fight against colorectal cancer. While previous studies have shown that vitamin D can help prevent against colorectal cancer, this study has revealed this vitamin can help fight cancer in those who have already been diagnosed.
People with high levels of vitamin D in their bloodstream have a lower overall risk of developing cancer. In those who are fighting this type of cancer, higher levels of vitamin D boost the immune system by activating T cells that recognize and attack cancer cells. Researchers have long thought that vitamin D can boost the immune system in this way. This study is the first to show this result in actual patients.
Another team doing research on the effect of vitamin D found that patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who also had high levels of vitamin D before treatment survived longer than patients with lower levels in their bloodstream. These researchers hope to develop a protocol to determine how to manage vitamin D levels to help prevent this type of cancer and to help those in treatment.